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America has formed a puzzling fascination with the Garden State. New Jersey is the new “it place” to be. Television shows such as Jerseylicious, Jersey Couture and of course, MTV’s smash hit, Jersey Shore has put the state front and center of millions of viewers. It’s the cast members of Jersey Shore that are most controversial and now, lawsuits are being filed on behalf of some who found themselves in the fist pumping line of fire. The show filmed its latest season in Miami and promises to be more jaw dropping than its sophomore season filmed in, where else, but Jersey.

A. Harrison Barnes, lawyer and founder of says a woman in Chicago is seeking damages upwards of $75k as well as an agreement to not air the footage that shows the woman in a fight with two of the cast members, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi and Jenni “JWowww” Farley. MTV is being accused in the suit of participating in a pattern of criminal activity for profit by intentionally provoking assaults to boost ratings and profits. If this were a criminal case, says the founder, MTV would be accessories to a crime.

Thanks to the new trend of reality TV, entertainment lawyers are staying busy these days. In fact, filming only recently wrapped for season two of Jersey and the third season is already gearing up for filming; this time, the group returns to its familiar stomping grounds, where they will surely be better received.

The lawsuit, says A. Harrison Barnes, is only one of the few that are already ongoing. This specific case alleges multiple people “have been injured by employees…for this television show in which cast members are filmed in physical altercations with innocent bystanders”. The purpose is to generate higher rates, which translates into bigger profits for MTV. The entertainment giant is declining commenting, citing it goes against their policy of not discussing ongoing litigation. At least one case, filed against Ronnie Ortiz, includes charges on racketeering. Recently, a superior court judge ruled the case could move forward. This could mean big trouble for the beefed up reality star. Another case claims the claimant suffered a “severe spinal injury” after a bar brawl with Paul Delvecchio, or as he’s known on the show, “DJ Pauley D”.

These kids, albeit of legal age, surely have no concept of the legal repercussions they’re up against. They very well could be jeopardizing their odds of getting accepted into schools, hired for certain jobs and in the extreme case, they could be charged with any number of felonies, thereby ensuring they will never be allowed to vote nor carry firearms. The trend is disturbing, to say the least.

Still, MTV defends its franchise and says it has no plans to cancel the series for any of the legalities that are ongoing. For now, MTV is in the final editing stage and plans to air the new season later in the summer of 2010.

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